By Isabella and Tilly
The Tuatara is the largest reptile in NZ. They measure about half a metre in length and also their weight is 1.5 kg when fully grown. Their average lifespan is 60 years but they can survive till their just over 100 years.
Tuatara like cool weather. They can’t live when the temperature is over 25 degrees but,they can live when temperature is below 5 degrees by sheltering in burrows. The Tuatara colours are olive green,brown and orange red. They can change colour over their lifetime.
Tuatara have a range of different animals they eat. Also the Tuatara is a carnivorous animal,meaning they only eat other animals such as weta,worms,beetles and spiders.
Predators and threats
The young Tuatara are at most risk of these introduced prey such as cats,dogs,ferrets,stoats,rats and possums.
Due to climate change the Tuatara population has been threatened by the heat when the temperature is over 25 degrees.
Tuatara were found in both South and North Islands before humans arrived.Tuatara are now found on offshore Islands. In recent years the Tuatara has been returned to the mainland in protected sanctuaries such as Cape sanctuary and Flagship sanctuary.
You can find the Tuatara at Wellington zoo and Auckland zoo. Now remember this creature is rare so please help us protect the Tuatara!